By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Senate gives unanimous preliminary approval to the bill to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains what comes next.

This is one of the bills that will go down to the wire. The Senate will have to pass it without amending it, otherwise it goes to a conference committee and all of this will have to be done on Monday.

Testimony from the sick and disabled. This is a bill that could mean relief.

This year’s medical marijuana bill cleared a major hurdle when the House voted 108-28 to pass it.

“What the bill does is create a medical marijuana commission which will supervise a medical marijuana program under very strict and well-defined conditions,” said Del. Dan Morhaim.

For years the General Assembly has heard appeals to allow patients to use marijuana as medicine.

The project is named in honor of Baltimore Delegate Cheryl Glenn’s mother.

“Medical marijuana doesn’t have the side effects FDA approved drugs have and this is something we need to do, so my mom is just a face for all those that are suffering and dying,” Glenn said.

Senate President Mike Miller supports the bill.

“If it helps people with cancer I’m all for it,” he said.

Each year new marijuana bills surface. There were three others this session, all moving toward decriminalization.

“Why don’t we just put it on the ballot and let people make a decision on it whether they want to do it or not?” said Sen. E.J. Pipkin.

There’s little likelihood there will be any amendments because Governor O’Malley has made it clear what he will and will not sign.

The legislative session wraps up at midnight on Monday.

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